Another Mound Enigma
Mound "P" shown next to hexagonal anomaly and shallow, elliptical basin (far left).
A new Mars Global Surveyor image of the Cydonia "City" area shows Mound "P" accompanied by its hexagonal "pedestal." Also apparent is a unique shallow basin that extends from Mound "P's" western side. The suspiciously building-like Mound "P," hexagon and basin form a complex of mutually reinforcing anomaly.
Intriguing "crumpled" feature east of Mound "P" and hexagon.
Also present (although not included in the new MGS image) is an angular oddity I refer to as the "beercan," as it looks vaguely like an aluminum can stamped flat on the Martian surface.
Since each of the above features has its own distinct morphology, it's not likely they were formed by a single geological process. Yet their proximity, similarity in size and evident uniqueness demand a sensible explanation. I have little doubt that if such a collection of disparate forms was discovered on Earth's surface via remote sensing, archaeological explanations would be forthcoming. Given the presence of the demonstrably nonfractal Face only miles away (along with the D&M Pyramid, Main City Pyramid, Fort, Cliff, etc.), a sound argument can be made for a non-natural explanation for the "Mound 'P' Complex."
The independent research community needs more high-resolution images of the Cydonia region (with emphasis on architectural-looking unknowns such as the Cliff and D&M Pyramid) in order to advance the Artificiality Hypothesis and unravel its potential implications.
(For high-resolution images of Mound "P" and neighboring features, click here.)
NASA Responds to FACETS' FOIA Inquiry
In its own roundabout way, NASA has finally admitted, in correspondence to the Formal Action Committee for Extraterrestrial Studies (FACETS), that its history of dismissal concerning anomalies in Cydonia has been scientifically baseless. While this may come as no surprise to Cydonia researchers, NASA's unprecedented admission, prompted by FACETS' use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), is nevertheless a step in the right direction if citizens are to claim control of what is allegedly a civilian agency.
To order "The McDaniel Report," the definitive examination of NASA's duplicity regarding the Cydonia controversy, click the cover above.
New Cydonia Images from Malin Space Science Systems
Along with the long-awaited ancillary data for the 2001 image of the controversial Face, Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) has also released several interesting images of the Cydonia Mensae region. We now have a second photograph of the Main City Pyramid in its entirety, two new photos of the "City Square," and a view of the Tholus that reveals the feature's triangular peak in somewhat greater detail than the previous acquisition. The Rounded Formation at the western side of the City area has been partially imaged for the first time.
The new images allow us to cross-compare with existing imagery of the region. Already, some oddities and interesting correlations have been noted on various online media. New analyses will be posted on this site. In the meantime, I point you toward Robert Harrison's new article on the "Ruler Mound."
MSSS' new data include:
MOC narrow-angle image E02-01847 [Main City Pyramid and City Square]
MOC narrow-angle image E03-01950 [Tholus]
MOC narrow-angle image E01-01908 [West portion of City]
MOC narrow-angle image E03-00626 [West of Cliff]
MOC narrow-angle image E03-00824 [Face (includes ancillary data)]
The "City Square": Then and Now
In 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor took the following picture of the features known collectively as the "City Square":
The new MGS image shows the City Square at roughly the same resolution:
I was interested to note that the small white triangle visible in the 1998 image (right side of image) is still present. This is an especially small feature, constituting just a few pixels. For this reason I was curious to see if it persisted under different viewing conditions. Evidently it does, demonstrating that its precise geometry and apparent hollow interior space are not imaging artifacts.
Blow-up of the "Draftsman's Triangle" as seen in 1998.
Study of the City Square features suggest that they might have once been located atop some sort of faceted terrace. The largest formation in the group possesses a gross resemblance to Mound "P" (see article above), tending to bear out the Mound Geometry Hypothesis advanced by Crater and McDaniel (based on initial observations by Hoagland). Circumstantial evidence indicates that the City Square may play a pivotal role in the Cydonia complex's layout; unfortunately, what's visible is highly eroded and not likely to vindicate proponents of artificiality. However, details such as the "Draftsman's Triangle" are promising in light of the high-resolution camera to be sent to Mars in 2005. If the City Square and/or any of the Mound features are artificial formations in varying states of structural decay, better images will help us make more informed determinations.
A Pyramid on Top of a Pyramid?
The Main City Pyramid (image released in May, 2002).
The new image of the Main City Pyramid reveals a massive five-sided formation with dimensions not unlike those of the D&M Pyramid and Mound "E" (see previous page). Many superficial (?) lines are visible along the Pyramid's perimeter, several of them enticingly geometric. Seen clearly in the 2002 image is a small, semi-pyramidal formation protruding from near the Main City Pyramid's apex.
Pyramidal (?) outcropping on the Main City Pyramid. See image above.
"Reconstructed," the semi-pyramid might have once functioned as a building in its own right (assuming artificiality).
The "Cydonia Hilton"...Taking Reservations?
Another strange formation has been added to Cydonia's roster of anomalies. Known alternately as the "Cydonia Hilton" and the "Dragon's Teeth," the new feature is a ruler-straight collection of approximately five rectilinear shapes carved into a mound in the vicinity of the City Square.
The "Cydonia Hilton." Image courtesy Keith Laney.
Perhaps more than any other anomalous formation on Mars, the Cydonia Hilton's band of discreet structures is reminiscent of a strip-mall or self-storage shelter. But the Hilton's geological context precludes naive terrestrial analogy. In my opinion, the feature's elevation and proximity to proposed arcologies such as the Main City Pyramid and Fort argue for a contextual interpretation in which the Cydonia enigmas are viewed as a complex, rather than as a collection of unrelated features.
While I'm tempted to consider the Hilton in architectural terms, natural explanations should be evaluated. What geological process could produce the Hilton? It doesn't seem to be fault in any recognized sense. Even if the individual cubes are ice deposits, one must explain how they came to be arranged so precisely.
Solar-powered houses. Could the "Hilton" represent similar structures?
As the first such "strip-mall"-like anomaly discovered on Mars, the Hilton's function (if artificial) is fascinating to consider from an engineering perspective. The "cubes" could be large doorways designed to allow the hypothetical "Martians" access to the planet's surface. (After all, if the Face is artificial, the civilization responsible for it would have needed somewhere to live.) The obvious implication--that portions of the City area are at least partially hollow--is supported by evidence of a deep chasm on the Face's damaged eastern side as well as the Fort's unusual imploded appearance, suggestive of an inward collapse.
It's likely that the Hilton's high elevation has spared it from being completely obscured by airborne dust. Features of comparable size, if they exist at lower elevations, may well have been eroded into invisibility or else hidden under a cloak of Martian soil in the millennia since their construction.
Speculation aside, the Cydonia Hilton offers its own mute challenge to planetary SETI: natural or artificial, what is it doing in "downtown" Cydonia? And if by some chance it is artificial, what are its archaeological implications?
Along with the "Draftsman's Triangle" (discussed above), the Cydonia Hilton is an ideal target for the 2005 Mars orbiter camera.
New Image of "Hollow"
In 2000, the Mars Global Surveyor captured an image of a faceted mesa located below the Face in Cydonia. Mark Carlotto noted that the mesa appeared to have a hollow, recessed surface.
The Hollow (2000).
Malin Space Science Systems' new release includes a view of the Hollow in much better resolution:
The Hollow (2002).
Upon close inspection, it appears that the impression of a recessed surface is caused primarily by an elevated linear feature found near the Hollow's northern side (near the extensive "faceting" noted in a previous article). The Hollow is grossly similar to the Face in several respects, and features a very straight eastern edge similar to the periphery of the Face's framing mesa. One wonders if these traits originate from artificial modification or from a common geological mechanism. If the latter, the elevated "wall" may be analogous to the ramp-like defile on top of the Cliff.
The Cliff (2001). Note the central defile's resemblance to the unsual "wall" on the Hollow.
Intriguing Document from Kennedy Administration Addresses Extraterrestrial Intelligence on Mars
[The following governmental memo from 1963 provides an interesting historical perspective on the issue of alien intelligence in our solar system. Thanks to The Presidents UFO Site. --M.T.]
Memorandum From Maxwell W. Hunter II of the National Aeronautics and Space Council (Executive Office of the President) to Robert F. Packard of the Office of International Scientific Affairs
Washington, July 18, 1963.
Thoughts on the Space Alien Race Question
During recent discussions the question has occasionally, though rarely, arisen that perhaps we should consider the policy question of what to do if an alien intelligence is discovered in space. Some discussion of this occurred, as you will recall, during deliberations on BNSP Task I. This memo contains some miscellaneous thoughts on the question.
The consensus of scientific view says, with quite good reasons, that the possibility of running across an alien intelligent race in our solar system is negligible. This is due primarily to the presumed unsuitability of conditions upon other planets to support life as we know it. The flying saucer advocates claim, of course, that the scientific viewpoint is nonsense, and that there is overwhelming evidence of such beings. In my own mind, I find it difficult to side with the flying saucer advocates, but the almost total impossibility envisioned by most scientists also is disturbing. Therefore, I present the problem in current perspective, as I see it.
Another Face-like Formation Discovered
Researcher Bryan Campbell has discovered a domed formation that, like the Cerberus Platform discussed previously, bears a vague but tantalizing resemblance to the Face mesa in Cydonia. While no facial features are evident, what can be seen of the formation's perimeter is very similar to that of the Face. While I find a natural explanation for Campbell's formation easier to entertain than I do for the Cydonia Face and Cerberus Platform, it is nevertheless a good example of a "Face-like" landform.
Bryan Campbell's "Face-like" object. Note that the upper edge is parallel to a deep chasm featuring apparant "stains" similar to those analyzed by Efrain Palermo. Refer to the MSSS site under "Related Links" for larger views.
Comparative study may help frame the Cydonia controversy in its geological context. For example, the Face--if artificial--may have been created by modifying an existing rectilinear mesa. If the Face is natural, then it's likely it was formed by processes related to those that formed the mesa discovered by Campbell (assuming Campbell's mesa is natural, which I think it is). Campbell's formation is much smaller than the Face, while the Cerberus Platform is roughly the size of the Face, although noticeably squatter.
The Cerberus Platform.
Campbell's animated GIF demonstrates a gross morphological similarity between the two landforms.
Oceans of Ice Found Beneath Martian Surface
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
JPL has announced the discovery of huge amounts of frozen water located just under Mars' unassuming red surface. Although not a complete surprise to some Mars researchers, this stands as one of the most important scientific discoveries of the century, and certainly the most immediately exciting planetary discovery since the detection of ice on the Moon.
The massive ice deposits on Mars tell us that Mars may not be "dead"; it may be in hibernation. While the chances of extant primitive life were good before the discovery, confirmation of water ice in the Martian soil increases the chances that we will find life by several factors--if we go there in person. In my opinion, the discovery of frozen water justifies a serious commitment to landing humans on the Red Planet in the next 10-20 years. Whether NASA will act upon the new finding in a rational manner remains to be seen, although a queasy sign of the space program's patented apathy has already descended, with JPL declining to hold a proper press conference. It's expected that the wildly fortuitous presence of water on Mars will be largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Water on Mars is important not only from an exobiological point of view, but from the pragmatic view of manned space exploration: finding vast quantities of ice on Mars is like finding a planet-sized fuel depot in our celestial backyard. Water promises to extend and augment crewed missions.
However, crewed missions appear to be the last thing on NASA's agenda. JPL, committed to keeping Mars exploration an academic exercise via satellites and rovers, has already commented on the possibility of sending an unmanned sample return mission to Mars within ten years. At this pace, we cannot expect humans on the Martian surface for decades; indeed, possibly in our lifetime.
It's essential that NASA be made to work for the people. If the combined presence of water ice and possible extraterrestrial structures on Mars is not enough to rouse the NASA bureaucracy from its long slumber, one wonders what possibly could.
Radio-Free Cydonia: "Gods Black Space"
Multimedia artist Zakas has included text from the Cydonian Imperative website in a new song titled "Gods Black Space." The song deals with extraterrestrial intelligence and secret agendas. The MP3 is available for download. Enjoy--and check out the rest of Zakas' online universe while you're at it.
Buried "Grid" Resembles Terrestrial Infrastructure
Portion of exposed city-like "grid."
Researcher Nathan has discovered an exotic Martian surface formation that resembles a partially buried terrestrial city. While other anomalous "grids" have been detected on Mars, Nathan's is perhaps the most striking yet. To view his analysis, click the URL below.
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